HDB has stepped up its efforts against illegal subletting

We refer to the letters “Can HDB step up enforcement?” (July 13) and “List all authorised sublet flats in a public database online” (July 16). We thank the writers for their feedback and suggestions.

We assure the public that the Housing and Development Board takes a serious view of any unauthorised subletting, whether by citizen or permanent resident households, as HDB flats are primarily meant for owner occupation.

Owners who wish to sublet their entire flats must meet the Minimum Occupation Period and obtain HDB’s approval first.

They must comply with the HDB’s terms and conditions, for example, by ensuring that the number of subtenants does not exceed the maximum allowed for the various flat types. Subletting of flats or bedrooms for short-term stay to tourists is also not allowed.

Owners who try to circumvent the HDB’s rules by locking up one room and subletting the rest of the flat without physically staying in it will be regarded as having engaged in unauthorised subletting of the entire flat.

The HDB has been stepping up enforcement against unauthorised subletting. Besides conducting regular checks on approved subletting cases to ensure rules are complied with, the HDB does spot checks and planned inspections to ensure the proper use and occupation of flats.

Last year, the HDB carried out 7,000 flat inspections. Most of the cases were in order. However, we found 56 flats with unauthorised subletting and took action against the owners, including imposing financial penalties or compulsorily acquiring their flats.

Before renting a flat or a bedroom, prospective subtenants should familiarise themselves with the eligibility conditions for subtenants as well as for owners, as it is important they ensure that the flat owner has obtained approval to sublet the flat.

More information could be found at the HDB’s website, http://www.hdb.gov.sg, under “Living in HDB flats”.

The HDB will continue its efforts against unauthorised subletting. The public may call our hotline at 1800-555-6370 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm) to report any suspected cases of unauthorised subletting. Any information provided will be treated with the strictest confidence.

From Lim Lea Lea Director (Branch Operations),
Housing & Development Board

Source : Today – 2012 Jul 31

See : Stricter rules for PRs subletting flats

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